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Doha College team wins QNL's "Solutionists Challenge"

A team of six Doha College students answered the call of Qatar National Library and Qatar Science Centre to devise a solution to a real-life scenario encountered every day by the library staff. Karina Zamora, Robin Bloemers, Jacobo Aguilar Torralba, Sebastian Inestroza Turcios, (Year 12), Salil Joshi and Krishna Bhatia (Year 10), all take Design and Technology for A Levels and IGCSE respectively. They worked on the project for seven weeks straight, in which they spent their Monday and Wednesday evenings, plus seven hours each Saturday, to design and develop the solution, including a few extended or extra sessions along the way - a huge commitment from the students and their parents.  


The “Solutionists Challenge” was posed to six schools in Qatar, with the aim of resolving this issue: staff currently use a lift to get books between the top floor and the ground floor, but they do not have the means to move the books to and from bookcases located on the mezzanine – these are all carried by hand!

Students researched the problem, generated and dissected a wide range of solutions, then chose several to model and test. Eventually, a full-scale cardboard model emerged, which they demoed to a panel of engineers, architects, designers and library staff. They explained the features under some quite harsh questioning!

This took Doha College and two other schools through to the final, where they further developed their design, and manufactured a prototype in the workshop, using equipment and tools that were new to them. The students demonstrated to the library staff the capabilities of their product, which was then scrutinised by engineers once again. 

The awards ceremony took place at QNL, with Qatar Academy of Science and Technology coming in third place, the American School of Doha in second and Doha College in first place. The team received wonderful comments from the library staff and the QSC  engineers, who complimented the students’ work, their approach and their collaboration.

It was such a worthwhile experience for the students – to have a real-life project for a real-life client. They built their resilience and they have taken lessons from this that will have a lasting impact in their school life.

Joseph Avison, Design and Technology Teacher

From the initial stages of forming the team – coming together, bouncing ideas, the students learnt to value each other’s input. They worked so hard, they put so much into it, and they definitely deserved to win.

Dean Hackett, Head of Design and Technology

Tap below to hear the what the students found most challenging, what valuable lessons they took away from the experience, as well as the impressions of Mr Avison and Mr Hackett.

Scroll through the images to get a feel of the process stages.

Congratulations everyone, it was well worth the late evenings and weekends spent in the workshop!